Category: Blog

Post-Implant Dos and Don’ts

Bellevue Dental Implants

Home-Care Ideas for the New Dental Implants

Going for a dental implant is a major decision you can make with your oral surgeon or implantologist. Certainly, you have been well educated about your options and your final choice. There is no need for you to fear – you have made wise judgment. Implants are not only the most updated of your options, it is also safe and cost-effective in the long run.

After you have had the surgery, it is certainly not the end of the treatment road. Crucial are instructions and precautions from your specialist that you must take to mind as you recover from the procedure. There may be after effects to expect to enable you to better handle situations.

For example, there is presence of swelling and bruising in the area where you’ve had treatment. It is completely normal. You’ve had surgery that opened up part of your gum and bone tissues so some after effects can be felt. However, if pain is severe, consult with your specialist right away.

Your gums will feel tender in the next 2 to 6 days as the tissues try to adjust to the presence of the foreign body, which is your titanium screw in your mouth.
Though your specialist has ensured there will be less bleeding after the surgery, it might happen that you’ll encounter some oozing of blood from the site. It might extend to 24 hours. If it happens, just apply gentle pressure on the gauze for an hour after the surgery.

Oral hygiene is supreme now, more than ever for dental implant patients. You start with rinsing your mouth every 4 to 6 hours with salt water for the next two weeks. Salt water soothes and massages swelling gums while it also inhibits bacterial growth at this crucial time.

You are encouraged to brush and floss your teeth but avoid brushing the operated area as it might interfere with the stitches. Use a low-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching any exposed surfaces of the implant.

Do not drink alcohol or smoke during the healing process as both can hamper wound healing and delay it considerably.

Team Effort in Bellevue

Don’t forget to visit us after your implant surgery. We at Overlake Dental are keeping an eye on your progress and healing patterns so we can respond immediately to your needs. Remember that bone healing and proper integration are essential to implant success and so is following your home-care guidelines.

A Little History of Dental Implants

From Bamboo Pegs To Gold To Titanium

Ancient China should be credited for using carved bamboo pegs as replacements for missing teeth, some 4,000 years ago. The first recorded case of a metal replacement tooth being fixed to a jawbone was discovered in a mummified Egyptian king of 3,000 years back. He had a copper peg in his upper jaw bone. While some 2,300 years ago, a tooth made of iron was found among real teeth in a Celtic grave in France.

The discoveries may be the first evidence of dental implants in antiquity, though they must have been placed in the jaws after the persons died.

From 1,000 to 2000 years ago, archeologists found skulls where teeth have been replaced with different material types – from jade to sea shells, even animal teeth. In some cases the replacement tooth has even fused with the jawbone. It was only in the 18th century when gold and alloys were experimented on but yielded poor results. By late 19th century, putting a porcelain crown on a platinum disc was tried but again it failed. It was clear even then that for an implant to be successful it must fuse to bone. Time and again, the body was rejecting foreign materials.

The pivotal moment came in dental history when an orthopedic surgeon, Branemark, unintentionally discovered the bone-fusing properties of titanium. During a study of bone healing and regeneration, he could not remove a titanium cylinder he had placed in a rabbit femur. He continued on his research on more animals and human subjects. In 1965, he placed his first titanium dental implant into a live human volunteer.

Research and trials over decades later saw improvements of the modern dental implant. Dental implants now are composed of a high-grade titanium alloy screw, often with a roughened surface to improve its integration to bone. After a period of healing and the screw firmly fixed to the jawbone, a dental crown is then attached at the top. With proper dental care and good oral hygiene, the method has high, long-term success rates.

Ensuring Your Implant Success

Part of implant success rate is certainly the training and expertise of the dental surgeon performing the procedure. Here at Overlake Dental, you are assured of high-quality titanium screws handled best by our trained and well-experienced Dr. Young Lee, Fellow, International Academy of Dental Implantology IADI.
If you have missing teeth, come for a thorough consult with us in Bellevue, WA.

Choosing Between Implant and Bridge

The Pros and The Cons

Dental implants and bridges are means to fill up gaps between teeth. Though they serve the same purpose, they are constructed differently. An implant is a false tooth that’s attached to a titanium post to be inserted in the jaw bone. A bridge is composed of a false tooth (or a few more) suspended between two crowns that the dentist cements onto prepared natural teeth on either side. Unlike an implant, the false tooth of a bridge isn’t embedded in the jaw bone.

Dental bridges require simpler work than implants. It does not involve surgery, hence it is less traumatic or painful. It is relatively quick, easy and safe. It may take only a couple or so dental appointments over a few weeks. Bridges are also more affordable than implants.

Bridges may not be as natural-looking. People may notice that you are wearing bridges, even if the crown color approximates the color of your natural teeth. Opting for a dental bridge will necessitate preparing your natural teeth to be used as abutments to hold the bridge in place. A considerable amount of enamel structure will have to be worn down as a preparation. Lastly, bridges require replacement periodically, like every 5 to 7 years. The bone tissue beneath the artificial crowns tends to reposition, creating instability leading to a shorter lifespan.

Dental implants, on the other hand, can last a lifetime if they are of high quality. They look, feel and function like your natural teeth. Unlike a bridge, an implant stands on it’s own support without putting strain on other teeth. This helps to protect surrounding teeth. One other advantage is that they stimulate and preserve natural bone growth, preventing bone loss. In a bridge, the artificial teeth do not contact with bone, hence, it does not promote bone health.

A rather serious, multi-stage surgery is required for dental implants and some degree of risk may be encountered, like infection, nerve damage or jaw fracture. And because bone heals slowly, implants may require 3 months at the least for bone to heal. It must be followed-up consistently to see that proper integration of implant to bone is achieved, besides checking for complications. The cost of implants is another issue that makes this option worth a lot of consideration.

Helping You Choose The Best Option

Considering a bridge or an implant for missing teeth? Come to Bellevue Overlake Dental for some serious discussion and we can enlighten you about your two options.

Research: Children Coping with Dental Braces

Children’s Struggles and Successes

Research at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden studied children with severe overbite who underwent orthodontic treatment early. While there were contributory success factors, the children and their families went through tough times dealing with teasing and the difficult and painful periods of adjustments.

An overjet is the extent of vertical overlap between the upper central incisors and the lower central incisors. Sometimes, the overlap is so severe that the protruding upper teeth are described as that belonging to rabbits. Children with a severe overjet cannot even cover their teeth with their lips.

The study involved a hundred children, who’ve had orthodontic braces, ages 7 to 14. About 13% of them said they had been teased about their appearance wearing those braces. Some were ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone. Others displayed their braces in school, like they were trophies. It is very much an individual experience. This is the age range when children are active and lively, and easily run the risk of being injured when the lips cannot function as cushions for the teeth when they should.

During the mixed-dentition stage, when both the primary and some permanent teeth are present in the mouth, orthodontists recommend a removable appliance. However, this makes speech impossible as the appliance fixes the upper and lower jaw to each other, though mostly used at night; or the orthodontist can wait until all permanents come up so a fixed brace can be used to correct the overjet. Meanwhile, the protruding teeth remain unprotected during the waiting period. In the study, six of ten children failed with their treatment for they simply did not use the appliance for the required 10 hours a day.

The researchers noted that the children who had successful treatment were helped by their mothers who nagged their children to stay within treatment, left reminders around the house, among others. The kids also invented ways to measure success, like using their thumb grips feeling the gaps between teeth close from month to month. The research believed that being up and honest with the parents and kids regarding the difficulty of orthodontic treatment, the associated pain and swelling, the duration of therapy, help prepare everyone for the challenges.

Original Article

Team Effort for Treatment Success in Bellevue

To ensure success in orthodontic interventions, the required teamwork from all participants is essential. Patients, their parents and their orthodontist come together in ensuring that roles are fulfilled to attain that straight and functional dentition for life. That is what Bellevue dental braces are for.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease: Have Same Origins?

The Bone Destructive Diseases Are Linked

Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is an autoimmune disease causing chronic joint pain. In RA, the immune system, instead of attacking the body’s enemies – bacteria, viruses, toxins – is attacking the body’s joints. The abnormal response leads to inflammation and damage of the joints. And being a systemic condition, RA may affect other organs and body systems.

Along with pain, people with RA experience fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever. RA symptoms and effects come and go, sometimes there is a period of high disease activity called a flare; it can last for days or months. During this activity, other organs can be affected – painful, red and sensitive eyes, inflamed blood vessels, lumps under the skin, and dry mouth and irritated gums or gum infection.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periodontal Disease

Research has long recognized the link between periodontal disease and RA. Studies have shown that those with RA are more likely to have periodontal disease than those without RA. A German study, in fact, found that the rate of periodontitis was 8 times higher in those who have the autoimmune disorder. Additionally, their periodontitis is more severe and involves more tooth loss than those who do not have RA.

The link between the two chronic diseases can be seen in certain inflammatory biomarkers which both have at elevated levels. They also have the same genetic markers, present in people with both RA and progressive periodontitis. Both also have the same mechanism of action.

Periodontal inflammation damages the gums and supporting ligaments around teeth, invading the jawbone and causing bone loss. RA brings about inflammation that attacks the soft tissue that lines the joints (the synovium), progresses to the bone, eventually destroying it.

Now, of significant scientific interest is the role of a particular species of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis or P. gingivalis, often found in both periodontitis and RA. Researchers say it can be the causative pathogen for both conditions. It is unique than other bacteria in that it contains an enzyme that the body recognizes as a foreign substance.

It may be the one responsible for the autoimmune response in RA, but if it is also found in periodontitis, could it mean that periodontal disease may have an autoimmune component, too? Certainly, more research is needed to prove this hypothesis.

Caring For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in Bellevue

It becomes more critical for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis to have frequent dental visits to monitor their gum health. Our team at Overlake Dental see to our patients more prone to gum disease because of their medical conditions.